Date: Wednesday December 15, 2021
BRITISH Speedway is delighted to announce details of an expanded competition structure at senior level for the 2022 season.
Both the Premiership and Championship will stage additional events along with their regular league campaigns – and two more of the sport’s popular shared events will return next year after they were unable to be staged this summer.
The Premiership will introduce the League Cup competition, with teams split into two groups of three on a regional basis.
Teams will meet once home and once away with the group winners meeting over two legs in the Final.
GROUP A: Belle Vue, Sheffield, Wolverhampton.
GROUP B: Ipswich, King’s Lynn, Peterborough.
And another addition to the calendar for the top-flight clubs is the Premiership Pairs – which, rather than taking place as a traditional one-off event, will see all clubs competing with a round staged at every track.
With the top two riders from each club involved, the new competition promises a series of high-profile clashes equivalent to Heats 13 and 15 in conventional league matches.
In the Championship, the league campaign is to be added to by the continuation of the Knockout Cup and the launch of a new summer series.
This will involve the clubs being split into three regional groups, racing over a one-home, one-away format, with the group winners then progressing to a one-off, three-team Final to be held over 18 heats on neutral territory at Sheffield.
SCOTTISH: Berwick, Edinburgh, Glasgow.
NORTHERN: Leicester, Newcastle, Redcar, Scunthorpe.
SOUTHERN: Birmingham, Oxford, Plymouth, Poole.
In the KO Cup, Poole will launch their defence of the silverware with a quarter-final tie against Plymouth.
The first round will see newcomers Oxford face 2019 winners Redcar, whilst Birmingham and Leicester clash in a big Midlands derby, and Edinburgh meet Newcastle in a repeat of this year’s opening tie.
KO CUP 1st round: Birmingham v Leicester, Edinburgh v Newcastle, Oxford v Redcar.
KO CUP QUARTER-FINALS: Berwick v Oxford/Redcar, Glasgow v Edinburgh/Newcastle, Plymouth v Poole, Scunthorpe v Birmingham/Leicester.
2022 will also see the return of the Championship Pairs, taking place on August 12 – the day before the British Grand Prix at Cardiff – and being hosted by Oxford, who are back in the sport for the first time since 2007.
Meanwhile the Championship Riders’ individual event is back on the calendar and will be staged at Poole, and the British Final will once again take place at Belle Vue, with dates for those meetings to be confirmed.
British Speedway chairman Rob Godfrey said: “With the 2022 season getting underway at a much more traditional time, there was a general feeling that we do need to be staging more meetings than we did this year when we had the late start due to the pandemic.
“Both leagues have therefore added more meaningful events to their schedules with some interesting new formats and more local clashes, and I’m sure they will prove to be well supported.
“It’s also good to have more of the shared events making their return – these have always proved popular, and fingers crossed it should all add up to a far more normal year for us all!”
Date: Wednesday December 14, 2021
EIGHT clubs will contest the National Development League campaign in 2022.
Champions Mildenhall return to defend their title along with fellow ’21 regulars Armadale, Belle Vue, Berwick and Leicester, whilst happily the sport will still take place in Kent, with the Iwade venue stepping into the competition instead of Central Park.
Entries have also been accepted from two more current Championship clubs, Oxford and Plymouth.
The points limit has been set at 40, and the play-offs will return to decide the league title with the top four teams competing.
There will also be a reduced KO Cup competition featuring the five clubs who expressed their wish to stage additional meetings.
Two rule changes have been agreed concerning team composition:
Any rider who started the 2021 season in the NDL and achieved an average above 4.00 in the Championship is still eligible to compete in the NDL.
Where clubs have two riders in their top five unavailable for a meeting, these can be replaced by a guest and rider-replacement, rather than the previous requirement for any rider rather than an absent No.1 to be replaced by either RR or an unattached rider.
Both Workington (Northside) and Isle of Wight have decided to place their applications on hold, to be revisited for 2023.
British Speedway chairman Rob Godfrey said: “There’s a lot of positivity around the sport at the moment, and we have done everything we can to encourage continued participation of riders in the NDL.
“It’s encouraging to see the interest in the NDL, and we look forward to welcoming Oxford and Plymouth into the league, as well as the continuation of the Kent name at Iwade.
“In addition, we can confirm that Workington at Northside is now a 2023 project, due to vandalism and damage at the site, and security must now be stepped up to prevent that from happening again.
“We were pleased to hold discussions with the Isle of Wight, and we wish them well for the year ahead in the hope that we can welcome them back into the fold in 2023.”
2022 NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE: Armadale, Belle Vue, Berwick, Leicester, Kent (at Iwade), Mildenhall, Oxford, Plymouth.
PLAY-OFFS: Semi-finals – 1st v 4th, 2nd v 3rd.
NDL KO CUP: Preliminary round: Mildenhall v Kent; Semi-finals: Leicester v Berwick, Mildenhall/Kent v Oxford.